The Villanelle

The Villanelle
Originally a song format, this poem is written in tercets rhymed a-b-a until the last stanza which becomes a quatrain.  In addition the first stanza produces two refrains , let us call them A1 and A2 in the first stanza, this takes the form :
A1-b-A2, then the tercets go on
a-b-A2  usually after this fifth tercet the quatrain then goes
a-b-A1- A2.

There are uneven numbers of tercets, as each A1 and A2 refrain after the first stanza must be repeated once each, so 5, 7 or 9 tercets before the quatrain.  Below is an example I have written:


Residual memory in the Gulf of Gokova


No footprints in the sand, beneath azure infinity
the yacht’s small dingy brought them to land
incautious intruders of Adasi’s serenity

Ignorant of the link with Cleopatra and Antony
they had yet to  learn the  implacable demand –
no footprints in the sand beneath azure infinity.

In seared grass and stones under olive tracery
a ruined amphitheatre revealed its tragic stand,
incautious intruders of Adasi’s serenity.

A sun sedated snake mapped their rapt survey
Torpid sheep on shaded tiers guarded a legend.
No footprints in the sand, beneath azure infinity

no demarcation where air kissed static sea
fish flew and birds swam in crystalline glissandi
incautious intruders of Adasi’s serenity.

The moment of mystery morphed into memory
locking in their minds with its ravelling strands,
no footprints in the sand. Beneath azure infinity
incautious intruders of Adasi’s serenity.


Cleopatras Bay
Cleopatras Bay


The Amitheatre
The Ampitheatre


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